While there can be notable differences when it comes to the development of 6-year-old children, there are still some things in common. One commonality is that with 6 years 3 months children, play is an important factor. Play becomes more complex where kids are learning and absorbing all that they can through interaction with others.
Pretend play is a common activity for 6 years 3 month children. This is the time when they start to assume the standard roles—girls pretend play as mothers, and boys as fathers. It is filled with fantasy and drama.
Parents, do note that this is not a diagnostic tool but a guideline. Do not hesitate to speak with your doctor to clarify any doubts at any point in time regarding your child’s development.
Let’s take a closer look at the milestones your 6 years 3 months old child may have reached.
6 Years 3 Months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
At 6 years 3 months, your child is more active than ever! His/her small and large muscles are being refined, leading to better balance and coordination. In fact, it appears as though he/she can’t keep still. Does the constant wriggling and squirming during TV watching or even during sleep sound familiar? But fear not, it’s nothing major to be concerned about, parents.
Your little one is also starting to show interest in team sports such as soccer. This perhaps presents a great opportunity to introduce a variety of sports activities that can help your child find his/her niche.
When it comes to your child’s fine motor skills, he/she is no doubt showing improvement. Great news, because it enables him/her to showcase independence in daily tasks such as pulling up zips and buttons, as well as brushing his/her hair.
Your 6 years 3 months old child should be able to do the following:
- Rides a bike
- Balances on one foot for a short period of time
- Walks heel-to-toe
- Walks downstairs without needing to hold your hand
- Ties own shoelaces
- Uses zips and buttons
- Brushes hair
- Skips and catches a large ball
- Draws more realistic pictures (e.g. able to recreate a person consisting of a head with eyes, mouth and nose, and a body with arms and legs)
- Copies simple shapes with a pencil
- Writes her own name
While your child might still find some tasks a little tricky, such as cutting up his/her food with a knife, he/she still enjoys the chance to practise.
- Encourage movement in your child. Get them to engage in different sports and partake in recreational activities, together or with others.
- Consider swimming lessons and fire safety training for your child
- Children of this age could complain more about external pains such as tummy aches and leg pains, amongst others. Parents should not take these words lightly, just to ensure that there is indeed no injury or illness.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
If you think your 6 years 3 months old child is falling behind, stay calm but be on the lookout for:
- Your child experiencing a noticeable and consistent loss of skills that he/she once had. Do bring your child to visit a child professional if this were to happen.
- Bedwetting: when your child was previously dry at night but now starts to wet the bed again. Bladder and bowel control is usually mastered by this age and ends on its own.
- If your child has difficulty falling asleep at night or staying asleep.
At 6 years 3 months old, your child is continuing to develop longer attention spans, with the ability to handle more complex projects at work and in school.
Not only that, he/she is able to make sense of simple concepts such as time (today, tomorrow and yesterday), recognises some words by sight and tries to sound out words. He/she might even read on his/her own.
It is also at this point where your child gets better at seeing things from the other person’s point of view. This is what helps him/her to make friends more easily.
Keep an eye out for these developments in your child:
- Understands the concept of numbers
- Recognises day from night and left from right
- Increased curiosity about the world
- Ability to form more complex thoughts
- Has awareness of right and wrong
- Be able to tell time
- Be able to repeat three numbers backward
- Focus on a task in school for 15 minutes
It might be common for your child to experience disagreements with his/her close friends. In such cases, it helps if parents (and teachers) can show some loving guidance to help guide the child through his/her thoughts.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- When child exhibits lots of challenging behaviour
- Displays very withdrawn, worried, or depressed behaviour
- Finds it difficult to separate from you
- Has difficulty following two-part directions like, “Put your bag away and then bring me your soccer uniform.”
Social & Emotional Development
Your 6 years 3 months old child now has the capacity to better express his/her feelings. However, when dealing with tricky emotions such as frustration or jealously, he/she could use some help and time to identify and talk about them.
That said, now your child would have better control over his/her feelings and you might expect fewer outbursts of anger and sadness. He/she might even try to show how “big” and independent he/she is, and tries doing things that might be dangerous.
Kids at this age are still figuring out where they fit in and what is acceptable. Hence they could test the waters by engaging in acts of lying, cheating and stealing.
In general, your little one will achieve these milestones at this age:
- Places more importance to peer acceptance. They are learning the ways of cooperating and sharing.
- Starts to develop skills, and an increased attention span.
- Understands the value of teamwork in sports.
- Gets better at describing incidents that happened: what they feel and think, as their interaction with peers increases.
- Increased levels of patience and more open to reasoning with you.
- Don’t shy away from talking about tough topics with your child like peer pressure, violence, drug use, and sexuality.
- Find age-appropriate ways to answer questions without adding to confusion or fear.
- Let your child make his/her own choices about sports and toys.
- Support your child’s self-esteem, and encourage them to have fun and express themselves.
- Include your child in simple household chores: setting the table or helping you to put clean clothes away.
- Arrange playdates that allows your child to spend time with other children.
- Talk about your child’s feelings with him/her and help put words to these feelings.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child is very shy or quiet after coming home from school, this could be a sign of bullying.
- If he/she shows extreme signs of aggression.
Speech and Language Development
At 6 years 3 months old, your child will have lots to say, even when there is no one present in the room. Besides, his/her brain often thinks faster than what he/she expresses.
While your little one might start talking in full and complex sentences, and engage in adult-like conversations, he/she might still find it difficult to describe complex ideas or events.
In school, your child enjoys the opportunity of doing ‘show and tell’ at school. It is also not difficult for him/her to understand jokes and riddles.
Other speech and language milestones your 6 years 3 months old child may have reached by this point include:
- Learns as many as 5 – 10 new words each day
- Speaks in simple but complete sentences with 5 – 7 words
- Follows a series of three commands in a row
- Starts to see that some words have more than one meaning
- Begins to read books that are right for his or her age
- Sounds out or decode unfamiliar words
- Try and get to know your child’s school administrators and teachers.
- Keep reading to your child, and have him/her or her read to you.
- Participate in your child’s homework assignments, but as a facilitator, stepping in only whenever necessary.
- Practise classroom behaviour. Give your child small tasks to focus his/her attention or simple instructions to follow.
- Have conversations about your child’s interests or perhaps his/her favourite animal or sport, which encourages him/her to listen, respond and question.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
Be on the lookout of the following if you think your 6 years 3 months old child is falling behind in these areas:
- Difficulty reading or child shows other possible signs of disability
- Something that is bothering your child, such as bullying
- Signs that your child is exhibiting stress or an underlying mental health issue
Do remember to stay calm if any of these situations were to arise.
Health and Nutrition: Your 6 years 3 months old
It is important to help your 6 years 3 months old child get enough physical activity. The key to a healthy weight? At least 60 minutes of physical activity for both kids and parents.
That said, it will greatly help to place the focus on enjoying fruits, vegetables, and physical activity for your child’s general health, rather than simply keeping to a healthy weight.
After all, the best thing a parent can do for a child is to model good attitudes toward food and fitness.
- Always look for “100% whole grains” rather than “made with whole grains,” products which can have mostly refined grains in them.
- When serving red meat or other sources of iron (leafy greens, tofu, beans), it is recommended to pair it with a food high in vitamin C, such as sweet potatoes or tomatoes—it helps your child’s body take in the iron.
- Serve smaller portions to your child and give him/her second helpings when they ask for them.
Kids around this age should ideally consume the following on a daily basis:
The recommended daily dietary guidelines for a 6-year old is to be at least 1,200 calories, including foods from a variety of nutrient groups such as dairy, protein as well as fruits and vegetables.
One of the most important nutrient groups for a growing child is dairy. A child requires 2.5 cups of milk or yoghurt in his/her diet—just be sure to choose low-fat options.
Great news is that milk can be disguised in your child’s favourite foods such as in oatmeal, fruit to even homemade smoothies, cream-based and tomato soups. You can also sneakily add cheese into your child’s sandwiches or scrambled eggs. If not, a simple cracker with topped with cheese or apples work as a delicious treat too!
For kids aged 6 years, the CDC recommends at least 19 grams of protein daily. For parents dealing with a picky eater, do not fret!
Some great sources of protein that children typically enjoy include:
- Waffles topped with a light layer of peanut or almond butter (if you’d like, incorporate flax seed for an added boost of protein)
- Low-fat Greek yogurt (a layer of it topped with another layer of fresh fruit—that will do the trick)
- Chicken or pork tenderloin chunks with a sprinkle of cheese and some black beans. Microwave and finish with a touch of mild salsa. Yum!
Fruit and vegetable group
This is the perfect opportunity to get creative with food. There are so many types of fruits, colours and textures to experiment with. A child will need at least 1 cup of fruit and 1.5 cups of vegetables to balance out the rest he/she is eating.
- Introduce fruits and vegetables as snacks. Keep fruit washed, cut up and in plain sight in the refrigerator.
- Serve salads more often.
- Consider trying out vegetarian recipes: use vegetables instead of meat for spaghetti, lasagna, or chilli amongst other foods.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- Is severely under- or over-weight
- Has unusual rashes, lumps or bruises
- Has a fever over 39 degrees C
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses: Your 6 years 3 months old
Most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered at this age. Do check with your doctor for common ones your child needs on a more regular basis, like the flu shot.
As your child spends more time in school, he/she could expect to contract more common colds and the flu. There may also be rashes that develop on his/her body which you should keep an eye out for. Encourage your child to tell you if there is any discomfort on his/her body, or if you notice any itching.
Ultimately, it is important for parents to remember that all children experience growth differently. Each and every child is unique. When it comes to milestones, they are just guidelines and not meant to be enforced strictly.
Previous month: 6 years 2 months
Next month: 6 years 4 months